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Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and Old Dominion University (ODU) will hold "Democracies in Partnership: 400 Years of Transatlantic Engagement" April 18-19 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The Symposium is being held in conjunction with the Jamestown Federal Commission.

The symposium will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room of the center from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

U.S. Air Force Gen. Lance L. Smith, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, and Dr. Roseann Runte, President of Old Dominion University, will co-host the symposium. It is a major academic event, bringing together senior leaders in the political, military, academic and business worlds. Several of the speakers are leading experts in their fields in the English-speaking world. They will address the Transatlantic relationship past, present, and future.

The Symposium is a major event in this year's Norfolk Azalea festival, an annual salute to the enduring relationship between Hampton Roads and NATO, and a highlight of the International Conference Series, which explores how principles of democracy that tie back to Jamestown have evolved. This year's Most Honoured Nation for the Azalea Festival is the United Kingdom. According to Timothy J. Sullivan, chairman of the Democracy Conference Planning Council, the symposium "highlights the importance of the United States' alliance with the UK, its shared history, its current vibrant relationship and its strategy for the future."

Strategies for future global engagement is a critical focus area for Runte, Old Dominion University President and symposium co-host. She noted that, "as we contemplate the future of our globe, the organization of resources and reserves, coordination of supply and demand and knowledge of models of government and governance are of vital importance. Thus, it is very appropriate that scholars and national decision-makers join at an institution of higher education to debate these, the most significant geopolitical issues of our times."

Smith knows first-hand the relevance of the Symposium topic. In his view it is particularly timely because of the changing global strategic environment and the growing importance of Alliance operations. "From relief efforts in Pakistan to the current mission in Afghanistan, NATO is helping to set conditions for peace, stability, and democracy for years to come," he stated.

The International Conference Series on the Foundations and Future of Democracy is sponsored by the Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission and is part of the America's 400th anniversary commemoration. The year-long series is bringing noted democratic scholars, political commentators and governmental practitioners together at various Virginia university sites to explore elements of successful democratic systems and the future of mature and emerging democracies around the world.

The following speakers are scheduled to participate in the Symposium:

Day 1
Prof. David Starkey - Fellow, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge; CBS Consultant

Prof. Brian Holden-Reid - Professor of American History and Military Institutions and Head of the Department of War Studies, Kings' College London

Prof. Richard Holmes - Professor of Military and Security Studies, Cranfield University

Right Honourable Nicholas Soames - Member of Parliament, United Kingdom

Dr. Roger Cirillo - Director of Operational Studies and Book Program Director, Association of the U.S. Army's Institute of Land Warfare

Prof. Sir Lawrence Freedman - Professor of War Studies, Kings College London

Prof. Colin Gray - Professor of International Politics and Strategic Studies, University of Reading

Prof. Williamson Murray - Senior fellow at the Institute of Defense Analysis

Day 2
Lieut. Gen. Sir John Kiszley - Director, UK Defence Academy

Prof. Simon Serfaty - Senior Professor of US Foreign Policy, ODU

Mr. Philip Stephens - Associate Editor, Financial Times

H.E. Sir David Manning - British Ambassador to the United States

This article was posted on: April 16, 2007

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